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Volume 7 No. 149


Premiership Rugby hopes to conclude a £230M ($290.5M) agreement with a private equity firm before Christmas after a board meeting on Tuesday "failed to tie up a few loose ends," according to Paul Rees of the London GUARDIAN. When the 13 shareholders in Premiership Rugby, made up of the 12 clubs in the top flight plus London Irish, first discussed the proposal in September, they rejected it, "not least because CVC Capital Partners wanted a 50% stake in the league." This week’s meeting at Heathrow agreed to the deal -- which would give CVC a 35% stake -- in principle, leaving the exec arm of Premiership Rugby to "sort out the unresolved issues in the next two weeks." Premiership Rugby Chair Ian Ritchie said, "There remains unanimity about our approach and our desire to enter into a requirement for a significant investment which we think will herald a new era for the league. We remain on track in achieving our objectives but nothing has yet been concluded" (GUARDIAN, 12/11). In London, Gavin Mairs reported the cash injection is "likely to ensure" all 13 shareholders receive around £16M ($20.2M) each, a "welcome boost given that they suffered collective losses" of around £28.5M last year. A number of clubs, including Bath and Saracens, "are also hoping to invest in stadium redevelopments." Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty said, "It is a landmark moment for us if we can get there and will usher in a new era for the club game going into next year. It will allow the clubs to make the next wave of investments in the game. There are a number of clubs that are quite advanced in their stadia plans and training facilities and this can revitalize the club game further. It [the deal] comes down to a few issues and we have to work through those final remaining points. But with the collective will around the table today we can find the answers to those remaining few items" (TELEGRAPH, 12/11).